New Delhi |Jagran News Desk: Two firefighters of public sector major OIL were found dead in a wetland abutting the site of a major blaze at its Baghjan well, which has been "uncontrollably" spewing gas for the last 15 days in Assam's Tinsukia district, officials said on Wednesday. Tension has gripped the area after the fire, which erupted on Tuesday, damaged a stretch of the adjoining forest, houses and vehicles, provoking an attack by the locals on OIL employees.

The oil well in Assam’s Tinsukia district was leaking gas from May 27, post which efforts have been made to plug the leakage which did not result in much success and resulted in a massive fire endangering the nearby vegetation.

According to a PTI report, the fire can be seen from a distance of 30 km and the black smoke billowing from the site is posing a danger to the local biodiversities already affected by the 14-day gas leak. However, efforts are on to douse the fire.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to discuss the situation in the wake of Baghjan fire tragedy. The Prime Minister assured all possible support from the Centre.

"PM Narendra Modi spoke to Assam CM Shri Sarbanand Sonwal to discuss the situation in the wake of the Baghjan fire tragedy. PM assured all possible support from the Centre. The situation is being monitored closely," PMO India tweeted.

 

Meanwhile, experts from Singapore-based ALERT have also arrived to plug the leakage. The Assam government has also asked for a help from the Indian Air Force to douse the fire. Assam’s Environment and Forest Minister, Parimal Suklabaidya said that the government is trying its best to control the fire.

"The situation is uncontrolled as of now. Our Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has talked to Central Government ministers. Assam government is trying its best to control the fire and authorities are working to control the situation," Suklabaidya told ANI.

Suklabaidya said that fire has spread in the nearby villages. "Around 6 people have been injured. The fire that broke out at gas well of Oil India Limited at Baghjan in Tinsukiahas spread in the nearby villages. We are worried. Oil India Limited is saying that the situation will be controlled in 6-7 days. We are doing our best to control the situation," he added.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Centre and Oil India Ltd (OIL) are committed to the safety and well-being of people of the state.

Taking to Twitter, the minister said that he spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and has assured him of the centre's commitment. "@dpradhanbjp assured CM Assam @sarbanandsonwal that MoPNG and @OilIndiaLimited are committed for the safety and well-being of people of Assam," he said in a tweet.

In another tweet, Pradhan also said that a team of Oil India Ltd led by its CMD have been at the site from day one of the leakage to control the situation. Further, crisis management team of ONGC is also on the ground to further emergency response, he said.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Oil India Ltd said that the damaged well caught fire even while the workers are in the process of clearing the site. The oil well at Baghjan in Tinsukia, around 550 km east of Guwahati, has been leaking gas for the past 14 days, causing enormous damage to the region's wildlife, wetlands and biodiversity.

 

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan